In Praise of Idle Time With Your Child

"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." – Winnie the Pooh. Here's a young child's week. On Monday afternoons, it's ballet and soccer practice. Wednesdays and Thursdays it's gymnastics and Tai Kwon Do....
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The Marshmallow Test; Development of Self Restraint

Imagine giving a 4-year-old a marshmallow, then explaining that you must leave the room to do some errands. You tell her that if she waits to eat the marshmallow until you return, you will give her a second one. Visualize how hard she must struggle against the urge to have a mouthful of yummy marshmallow...
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Healthily Grieving a Loss – How to Help Your Child

Many life events can cause your child to experience feelings of grief and loss: the death of a family member; parent or sibling illness; death of a pet; moving; changing schools midyear; divorce; even losing a favorite toy. In this newsletter, I'll illustrate the best principles and practices of healthy grieving by using the example...
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Increasing Child’s Compliance: Effective Instruction Delivery

Children's noncompliance with parents' directions is a concern commonly expressed by parents of preschool and school age children. Teaching your child to comply with requests can be very helpful to you in managing your child's behavior. Often times when parents are trying to increase their child's compliance, they focus on consequences. However, it is important...
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Frankie (A story about challenges with emotional regulation)

During the August 2011 Family Compass Preschool Alliance Training for teachers, Dr. Moshe Shtuhl and I presented a case study dealing with emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is the ability to remain calm and organized in order to interact with others and participate in whatever is going on. It's the skill of keeping it together well...
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From Relaxation to Mindfulness: What can be gained by breathing deeply?

Over the past several decades a substantial and convincing body of empirical research has been done that supports the use of mindfulness in helping adults with a wide range of emotional and physical ailments such as: anxiety, depression, chronic pain, stress, eating disorders, addiction and some personality disorders. While the empirical support for its use...
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Addressing Anxiety with Neurofeedback

The topic of anxiety is in the news. In fact, last week it was even on the cover of TIME magazine. This is a complex phenomenon. On the one hand anxiety can protect us from danger, and it can make us efficient and goal directed as we try to avoid risk. On the other hand...
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Right-brain/Left-brain Cooperation

Strengthening your child's right and left brain integration to increase self control Your child wants THAT toy right "NOW!" She doesn't care that it's not her turn. Her escalating whimpering and crying make that crystal clear. Explaining the situation not only doesn't help, it makes her more upset: You tell her that she's been playing...
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Taming Tantrums & Dealing with Distress

I have a problem with the word tantrum. But I can't help but to use the word to describe my two and half year-old son lying down in the middle of the street stomping and crying as if the world were ending. We use the word to describe the "terrible twos", although tantrums can start...
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Bedtime: A Ritual of Closeness

The situation had been escalating for months. The early warning signs had gone unheeded. Overtures for assistance were met with resistance. Demands were made. Barriers erected. Negotiations were not serious, and eventually broke down all together. All that was left was a stand off. What's described above was not ripped from the front pages of...
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